Day 111: Green Lipped Mussels

Tonight’s blog is brought to you at the behest, nay insistence of Mr How Fucking Much.

After a lazy day, sampling the icecream on sale at Trailer Treats (run by the lovely Leanne at Coromandel Discovery)…

Blueberry icecream… 5.50 NZD for a double scoop.

… and an evening singing along at the Coromandel Town Choir’s Christmas Performance… no photos, there are innocent people to protect… we ended up at the Coromandel Hotel also known locally as the Top Pub for a pint and dinner.

It’s a traditional, to my eyes at least, New Zealand pub… pool table in the corner, one armed bandits (slot machines) in the other corner and plenty of tables and stools for groups to gather around.

“What’s good here?” we asked.


An answer which obviously narrowed the choice.

“The fish and chips, the mussels, the oysters, the mussel fritters, the mussel pate and did we mention the mussels?”

The green lipped mussel is found all around New Zealand’s coast. It’s bigger than the varieties found in Europe and, for the most part, its colouring is a mostly black shell with a thin green line around the lip of the shell.

Tonight’s mussels were mostly green.

Mr HFM and I were in agreement on dinner – green lipped mussels in a tarragon sauce.

Tenzing was appalled. He’s not a fan of mussels. He missed out.

First appeared two large bowls filled with hot water and halved lemons – ah, the hot lemon soup. This would come in useful.

And then the bowls of mussels, with a slice of garlic bread.

Hot lemon soup in the background

As I mentioned, green lipped mussels are much bigger than European varieties served so this large pasta dish filled with 12-14 mussels was a very filling meal.

An attempt to demonstrate the scale and also, the shells are very pretty.

The mussels weren’t ‘swimming’ in the sauce – I sometimes find that so much white wine sauce is poured over the mussels that it’s less eating as planning for them.

The sauce, lightly flavoured with chopped onions and tarragon, was delicious: it didn’t overwhelm the dish and we mopped it up with garlic bread once the mussels were finished.

What else was the bread for? I’m not keen on wasting food and especially not when it tastes so good.

“You’ve got to blog about these, Fiona,” said Mr HFM as we ate. “They’re really good.”

So, I have done.

It makes a change from food posts about cake and misadventures with portion sizes.

A gratuitous shot of the mussels.

Green lipped mussels in a tarragon sauce – 18 NZD at the Coromandel Hotel. Other meals are available but this one was particularly good.

Categories: Food, New Zealand, TravelTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Love mussels but the best bit is the bread dipped in the sauce.

    Liked by 1 person

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